MEDIA RELEASE — July 15, 2014

Canadian Mathematical Society

July 15, 2014

Math Team Canada 2014 wins Olympiad gold, silver and bronze

Canadian high school team ranks 9th in the world for mathematics

Front Row: Caleb Ji, Alexander Whatley, Antonio Molina Lovett, Michael Chow
Back Row: Back Row: David Arthur (Team Leader), Dorette Pronk (Deputy Leader), Zhuo Qun (Alex) Song, Kevin Sun


The The International Mathematical Olympiad is the world championship high school mathematics competition. The 2014 IMO contest was set by an international jury of mathematicians and was written on July 8 and 9. On each day of the contest, three questions had to be solved within a time limit of four and a half hours.

Although students compete individually, country rankings are obtained by adding the team scores. The maximum score for each student is 42 and for a team of six students the maximum is 252. The Canadian team placed 9th out of 101 competing countries with an overall score of 159. The 2014 results bring Canada’s total medal count since 1981 to 27 gold, 47 silver, and 80 bronze.

The Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS) is responsible for the selection, training and overall support of Math Team Canada to the IMO.

Canada’s success at the IMO would not be possible without the assistance of our corporate and provincial sponsors. The CMS gratefully acknowledges the support of the following organizations:

Sunlife Financial

Samuel Beatty Fund

OTTAWA – Math Team Canada returned home today after their 9th place success at the 55th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). Each of the six Canadian high school contestants earned a medal for Canada while competing against over a hundred countries at the world championship mathematics competition for high school students.

The International Mathematical Olympiad, held this year in Cape Town, South Africa from July 3-13, is the oldest and most prestigious international science Olympiad for high school students. Each July, students representing over 90% of the world’s population participate in ten days of activities, which include two intensive examination days. The individual students with the highest exam points are awarded medals, and their individual results are accumulated into an overall team score.

The members of Math Team Canada were awarded their medals at the IMO closing ceremony, held on Saturday July 12. Gold medals were awarded to Zhuo Qun (Alex) Song and Kevin Sun. A silver medal was awarded to Antonio Molina Lovett and bronze medals were awarded to Caleb Ji, Alexander Whatley and Michael Chow.

“The Canadian Mathematical Society has been supporting the participation of the Canadian team at the IMO for over 30 years and Canada has consistently performed well on the international stage,” said CMS President, Lia Bronsard. “The team's 9th place ranking is an outstanding achievement for which the students and the Canadian mathematical community is extremely proud.”

This excellent performance put Math Team Canada in the top ten (of 101 teams from different countries) for the second time since Canada began participating at the IMO in 1981. Additionally, Zhuo Qun (Alex) Song’s Gold Medal placed him 11th in the world amongst 560 individual contestants at this year's event, and moved him into a tie for fourth place on the IMO's all-time "Hall of Fame" list.

“The competition this year was non-traditional in that it contained an open-ended, research-like question. The mathematical topics were slightly non-standard as well, but our team performed very well on the challenging questions. This is our second best performance ever – an excellent result by a terrific team,” said Dorette Pronk, one of the Leaders of Math Team Canada, who accompanied the team to South Africa. “The students prepared for this important event with many hours of individual training, a winter training camp at York University and two weeks of intense training and confidence building at the Banff International Research Station just before the competition.”

For more information, please contact:

Felix Recio, Chair
Chair, IMO Committee
Canadian Mathematical Society
or Jessica St-James
Communications and Special Projects Officer
Canadian Mathematical Society
(613) 722-2662 ext. 728

About the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS)

The CMS is the main national organization whose goal is to promote and advance the discovery, learning, and application of mathematics. The Society's activities cover the whole spectrum of mathematics including: scientific meetings, research publications, and the promotion of excellence in mathematics education at all levels. The CMS annually sponsors mathematics competitions that recognize outstanding student achievements.